I am a pro at compartmentalization. It’s a great tool to pile up the proverbial back burner and focus on what is important at the time. It’s how I got through adolescence, college, graduate school, and achieved career success.
An otherwise highly educated 52 year-old woman, who knows the risk factors and warning signs of breast cancer, and was a nurse early on in life, said things like:
- Hm, the right boob looks different. Must be pre-menopause.
- Looks like I’m losing fat from the underside of my boob.
- Is that a lump? Must be breast structures.
- My boob hurts. Wonder why?
- I should call the doctor. I keep forgetting to do that.
Shameless, really. Now I have to process the reality. I have breast cancer.
First and foremost, this blog is for me. I need to enter this territory like I’m researching an academic paper. So I’m going to include everything I learn and feel about this experience. I hope that it serves as some kind of information for my family–like they’ll read it. Maybe my friends will check in. And, who knows, maybe it’ll even help someone.
When I first published this page, it was the day after my initial diagnosis of Stage II IDC. But things have changed and some weeks later, following a PET scan, I learned that I have Stage IV IDC–the Death Star had set up an outpost in my lower spine and lungs. So now, thanks to Cancer Man, I’m stuck writing this focacta thing for life. What a pain in the ass.
Originally written on July 20, 2012